August 29 Play on the Porch Day 2020

porch music Yesterday was the annual “Play Music on the Porch Day Worldwide.

I celebrated by playing a few short sets of cover tunes from a sweet little corner of my backyard.

I broadcast live through Facebook, which has advantages and disadvantages overall, but I’m happy with what I did. From 10 a.m. and throughout the day I played three sets of three songs each – from Regina Spektor to Smokey Robinson, from Michael Nesmith to Guy Clark, I played a bunch of songs (some better than others) and I didn’t allow myself to get too attached to how things came out.

I wanted to keep it casual, and that is certainly how it came off. It’s live music after all, so perfection is not really possible except by accident.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you can check the sets out. I think I have set the privacy setting to “public,” so I think anyone can listen or share.

Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 7.55.48 AM I have also been recording my original tunes on video and uploading them to both Facebook and to Youtube. Check out my personal channel if you’d like to listen. I’ll also upload them here just to keep everything tidy.

I will celebrate this porch playing party next year. This is the first time I had heard about it.

I don’t know about you, but I sure miss live music.

Last solo gig for the foreseeable future

Melwell BMW 12-14Winter can take a toll on a person, a community and a way of doing things. Just when we were getting comfortable with Fall after we let go of Summer. We are reluctant to look Winter square in the face and say, “Give me what you got. I’m ready.”

The news of the closing of the Black Mesa Winery’s Taos Tasting Room has sent a wave of sadness and a need to regroup and rethink personal strategies for getting heard in a town that has so few options for the iconoclastic, capo-flipping singer-songwriter.

I also had to shelve a pet project – my psychedelic revival band, the Soul Retrievers. We got as far as one gig before the wheels started to come off. Now, I’ve re-scheduled the December 14 gig at BMW to just be solo, and probably the last solo gig for the foreseeable future.

I’m still playing tenor banjo and singing with the Swing Dusters, so it’s not a total wash, but sometimes, it’s better to choose how you’d like to spend the last few years (if we’re lucky) to chase dreams we had as a kid. As silly as that might seem, there are few balms like singing a song you have loved since the moment you heard it – whether you first heard it last week or you listened to it through your pillow as it was on setting number one on a transistor radio, tuned to a rock‘n’roll station, while your spirit soared across the atmosphere in the middle of the night as a pre-teen.

So the scene changes once again. Another venue bites the dust. Cafe Tazza closed for good about a month ago, and if the room comes to life again it will be a huge surprise. And after the new year, the BMW will close its doors. The town is seeking to limit street playing and it will be interesting to watch the scene settle down again with fewer venues for all the particles to fit.

It was a lovely last run. I want to thank Victoria Golos and SOMOS for talking me into performing again, and of course, the BMW, Laurie Mitchell Dunn and Craig Dunn, Bittersweet Highway, Tenny Walsh, all the regulars for letting me have this last year.

I’d also like to thank Russell Latino and Taylor Meador of the Soul Retrievers. It was fun.